A BRIDGE LINKING NEIGHBORS: A Russian container truck drives over the icy surface of a 614-meter-long and 13-meter-wide frozen river passageway connecting Russia's Blagoveshchensk and China's Heihe on December 11 (QIU QILONG)
The two countries have common security challenges, the researcher added. They need to work together to fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism in the region. "They have the common obligation and responsibility for regional and world peace," he said.
Furthermore, they are under heavy pressure from the United States and its ally Japan in the Asia-Pacific region. Washington is carrying out a very aggressive foreign policy presumably aimed at containing rising powers like China and Russia. Wang Lijiu added that the two neighbors will have the shared task of dealing with strategic security pressures. "Neither of them can do this alone; they must support each other, which is another reason to deepen their relationship," he said.
"Russian leaders believe a strong and prosperous China benefits Russia and the world. Chinese leaders also stress a powerful Russia is in favor of China and the world," Wang Lijiu said. He added that as long as the two neighbors stick to the principle of comprehensive cooperation, their future ties will be even stronger.
Liu pointed out that the coming 10 years will be important for developing both sides' national strength. As two emerging markets in the region, they must welcome the opportunities inherent in one another's rise. They need to support each other on important issues concerning their common interests, while coordinating on world events, Liu added.
"Boosting strategic cooperation in political, security, economic and cultural areas is not only a common demand of China and Russia, but will also help maintain a peaceful and stable regional and international situation, which will provide a good external environment for development," said Liu.
The two countries have set the goal of expanding bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015 and $200 billion by 2020. Energy cooperation will remain the major part of bilateral economic partnership. According to a newly reached agreement, China and Russia will further assist each other at local levels, especially between Russia's Far East and China's northeast areas.
Qu Xing, President of the Chinese Institute of International Studies, said there is still space for China and Russia to promote their cooperation in energy. For example, they should increase investment to each other in areas where they have advantages. Russia plans to make its Far East region a center of influence in the Asia-Pacific region. The region has vast lands but insufficient labor. Qu suggested promoting bilateral cooperation in agriculture, transportation, infrastructure construction and labor supply, so as to hasten the development of the two countries' border areas.
Wu, from the CASS, added that Russia needs to perfect its investment environment in the Far East region to attract more Chinese capital. Moreover, the two countries have large cooperation potential in hi-tech fields like aviation, space and military technologies as well as service industries.
Although the two sides have established high political mutual trust, they must pay attention to new problems emerging from their development, warned Wang Lijiu. For example, China has been strengthening relationships with Central Asian countries as part of its efforts to boost the development of west China.
"Historically, the Central Asian region is Russia's zone of influence. Growing Chinese influence in the area might be regarded as a challenge to the Russian side," said Wang Lijiu. China, however, needs to promote its relations with some countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States for its own interests. "The two sides should have the patience and wisdom to find a comfortable pattern for their coexistence," he said.
Premier Wen Jiabao's Proposals on Boosting China-Russia Relations
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao put forward seven proposals on further advancing cooperation with Russia at the 17th regular China-Russia premiers' meeting in Moscow on December 6:
- Expanding two-way trade between the two nations so as to reach the 2015 target volume of $100 billion ahead of schedule
- Advancing all-round cooperation on energy to safeguard energy security in the two countries and promote sustainable development
- Expanding cooperation in such key areas as investment, deep processing, advanced technology and innovation and promoting cooperation on major strategic projects featuring joint research and development and joint production in the areas of aeronautics and astronautics
- Taking full advantage of regular meetings of local leaders so as to boost regional cooperation between the two countries
- Giving free play to market mechanisms and lending support and convenience to enterprises on policy and management levels
- Further expanding cultural exchanges and, in particular, holding a successful Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia and implementing the 10-year program on future cultural cooperation
- Actively participating in global economic governance so as to facilitate reforms of international economic and financial systems
(Source: Xinhua News Agency)
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